Media Tip Sheet: Latest Push to Bring Employees at Large Companies Back to the Office

February 7, 2024

file shot of people at a table in an office setting

UPS recently joined a small group of large companies that are pushing their employees to return to the office. According to The Wall Street Journal, “the push for in-person attendance Monday through Friday reflects a desire among top executives to fully repopulate offices and to return to prepandemic ways of working. Some CEOs say it is unfair for corporate employees to do their jobs remotely part of the time while front-line staffers must show up daily.”

GW's N. Sharon Hill

If you’re looking for more context on this matter, please consider Sharon Hill, associate professor of management at the George Washington University School of Business. Her primary research area focuses on virtual work, seeking to understand both the positive and negative implications of virtuality at work in different types of virtual work arrangements (e.g., virtual teams, telecommuting, hybrid work) as well as the role of leadership in promoting effective work outcomes and employee well-being in virtual settings.

Her latest research papers have specifically explored how virtual work impacts employee well-being both positively and negatively as well as the key behaviors that make an effective leader in a virtual work environment. She wrote an article in MIT Sloan Management Review that discusses leadership strategies for the hybrid office.

Hill says that forcing people back to the office as a blanket approach is not necessarily the best strategy because different jobs require different degrees of in-person interaction. If people are in the office doing work activities they could easily do at home, Hill says it can lead to resentment. Therefore, a more nuanced approach that considers the work activities of a group and that maximizes the benefits of being in the office is a more effective and strategic approach.

If you would like to speak with Prof. Hill, please contact GW Media Relations Specialist Cate Douglass at [email protected].